ToC: Journal of Jewish Education 81.1 (2015); special issue: Israel Education

Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 81, Issue 1, January-March 2015 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special Issue: Israel Education, Part I

This new issue contains the following articles:

Editor’s Note
Israel Education in Unsettled Times
Bethamie Horowitz
Pages: 1-3
DOI: 10.1080/15244113.2015.1010368

Articles
“Israel Is Meant for Me”: Kindergarteners’ Conceptions of Israel
Sivan Zakai
Pages: 4-34
DOI: 10.1080/15244113.2015.1007019

“Like a Distant Cousin”: Bi-Cultural Negotiation as Key Perspective in Understanding the Evolving Relationship of Future Reform Rabbis with Israel and the Jewish People
Michal Muszkat-Barkan & Lisa D. Grant
Pages: 35-63
DOI: 10.1080/15244113.2015.1007011

Lights, Cameras, Action Research!—Moviemaking as a Pedagogy for Constructivist Israel Education
Ofra Backenroth & Alex Sinclair
Pages: 64-84
DOI: 10.1080/15244113.2015.1003480

A Linguistic Analysis of the Role of Israel in American Jewish Schooling
Barry Chazan
Pages: 85-92
DOI: 10.1080/15244113.2015.1007016

Book Review
Sharon Feiman-Nemser, Eran Tamir, and Karen Hammerness, Editors, Inspiring Teaching: Preparing Teachers to Succeed in Mission-Driven Schools (Harvard Education Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014)
Laura Shefter
Pages: 93-96
DOI: 10.1080/15244113.2015.1003481

Reviews: Jackson, Thin Description

Jackson, John L., Jr. Thin Description. Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.

 

thindescription

 

Reviews:

 

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.1 (2015)

Israel Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 1, January 2015

 

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
Ethnic Income Disparities in Israel
Pnina O. Plaut & Steven E. Plaut
Pages: 1-26
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984418

‘Mayhew’s outcasts’: anti-Zionism and the Arab lobby in Harold Wilson’s Labour Party
James R. Vaughan
Pages: 27-47
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984420

Israel Negev Bedouin during the 1948 War: Departure and Return
Havatzelet Yahel & Ruth Kark
Pages: 48-97
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984421

Good news: the Carmel Newsreels and their place in the emerging Israeli language media
Oren Soffer & Tamar Liebes
Pages: 98-111
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984422

From ‘Rambo’ to ‘sitting ducks’ and back again: the Israeli soldier in the media
Elisheva Rosman & Zipi Israeli
Pages: 112-130
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984423

Israel and the Arab Gulf states: from tacit cooperation to reconciliation?
Yoel Guzansky
Pages: 131-147
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984424

Building partnerships between Israeli and Palestinian youth: an integrative approach
Debbie Nathan, David Trimble & Shai Fuxman
Pages: 148-164
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984436

Book Reviews
Flexigidity: the secret of Jewish adaptability
David Rodman
Pages: 165-166
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937913

Russia and Israel in the changing Middle East
David Rodman
Pages: 166-167
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937914

Social mobilization in the Arab–Israeli war of 1948: on the Israeli home front
David Rodman
Pages: 167-169
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937915

These are my brothers: a dramatic story of heroism during the Yom Kippur War
David Rodman
Pages: 169-171
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937916

Jews and the military: a history
David Rodman
Pages: 171-173
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937917

The Jewish revolt: ad 66–74
David Rodman
Pages: 173-173
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937918

The city besieged: siege and its manifestations in the ancient Near East
David Rodman
Pages: 173-175
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937919

The forgotten kingdom: the archaeology and history of northern Israel
David Rodman
Pages: 175-176
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937920

Lecture: Almog, The Absence of Law from Israeli War Films (London, SOAS, Jan 27, 2015)

Please join us for this unique event, a lecture by Prof. Shulamit Almog from the University of Haifa, titled “From Paratroopers to Waltz with Bashir: The Absence of Law from Israeli War Films”.

The event will take place on Tuesday, January 27, at 2pm in 22 Russell Square, room T102.
See the attached invitation for further details.
The event is free and there is no need to book.
lawwarfilms

 

New Article: Zandberg, Humor and the Collective Memory of Traumatic Events

Zandberg, Eyal. “Ketchup Is the Auschwitz of Tomatoes”: Humor and the Collective Memory of Traumatic Events.” Communication, Culture & Critique 8.1 (2015): 108-23.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cccr.12072/abstract

 

Abstract

This study explores the interrelations between humorous texts and the memory of traumatic events through an analysis of skits aired on Israeli television that are related to Holocaust memory. The study presents a typology of these skits indicating an evolutionary development: from the use of humor to criticize Holocaust remembrance to the use of Holocaust memory to create humorous effects. Contextualizing these findings in the fields of media memory and trauma theory, the study argues that this evolutionary development challenges the hegemonic commemorative discourse of the Holocaust: while commemorative discourse plays a distinctive role in performing cultural trauma, the media’s humorous discourse conveys a sacrilegious viewpoint and thus can play a vital role in recuperating from it.

New Book: Steir-Livny, Let the Memorial Hill Remember: Holocaust Representation in Israeli Popular Culture (Hebrew)

שטייר-לבני, ליאת. הר הזכרון יזכור במקומי. הזיכרון החדש של השואה בתרבות הפופולרית בישראל. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

 

URL: http://www.resling.co.il/book.asp?book_id=793

 

book_793_big

Table of Contents

פתח דבר

מבוא: זיכרון ותודעת השואה בישראל – מושגים, היסטוריוגרפיה וכיווני חשיבה

1. עכשיו כבר מותר לצחוק? ייצוגים של הומור, סטירה ופרודיה בנושא השואה

2. הפוליטיזציה של השואה בתרבות הישראלית

3. אתניזציה של השואה

אחרית דבר

 

Abstract

Liat Steir-Livny’s book analyzes the representations of the Holocaust in Israeli popular culture from the 1980s onwards. Through a survey of film, television, journalism, literature, poetry, Facebook, blogs, and fringe theater it covers new and controversial representations that are nevertheless an integral part of contemporary Holocaust remembrance and commemoration. Steir-Livni argues that the second and third generation who carry the burden of national memory seek to keep away the trauma not because they disregard it, or because they are distant from it, but rather, because they are deeply immersed in and seek to find some peace. They do this, consciously and unconsciously, by using tools rhetorical and visual tools that leave behind the horrors of historical events, and convert them to create a series of foreign representations of horror of the traumatic events and exchange them for a series of representations that alienate and obscure the traumatic events in order to distance them. At the same time, however, these new representations indicate the extent to which the Holocaust is an integral part of their culture and of the identity of their creators.

 

New Book: Yosef and Hagin, eds. Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema

Yosef, Raz and Boaz Hagin. Deeper than Oblivion. Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.

oblivion

 

URL: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/deeper-than-oblivion-9781441199263/

 

In this collection, leading scholars in both film studies and Israeli studies show that beyond representing familiar historical accounts or striving to offer a more complete and accurate depiction of the past, Israeli cinema has innovatively used trauma and memory to offer insights about Israeli society and to engage with cinematic experimentation and invention. Tracing a long line of films from the 1940s up to the 2000s, the contributors use close readings of these films not only to reconstruct the past, but also to actively engage with it. Addressing both high-profile and lesser known fiction and non-fiction Israeli films, Deeper than Oblivion underlines the unique aesthetic choices many of these films make in their attempt to confront the difficulties, perhaps even impossibility, of representing trauma. By looking at recent and classic examples of Israeli films that turn to memory and trauma, this book addresses the pressing issues and disputes in the field today.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Sweet on the Inside: Trauma, Memory, and Israeli Cinema Boaz Hagin and Raz Yosef

Chapter 2: Postscript to Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation Ella Shohat

Chapter 3: Gender, the Military, Memory, and the Photograph: Tamar Yarom’s To See If I’m Smiling and American Films about Abu Ghraib Diane Waldman

Chapter 4: The Event and the Picture: David Perlov’s My Stills and Memories of the Eichmann Trial Anat Zanger

Chapter 5: The Agonies of an Eternal Victim: Zionist Guilt in Avi Mograbi’s Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi Shmulik Duvdevani

Chapter 6: Traces of War: Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort Raz Yosef

Chapter 7: Memory of a Death Foretold: Fathers and Sons in Assi Dayan’s “Trilogy” Yael Munk

Chapter 8: Queering Terror: Trauma, Race, and Nationalism in Palestinian and Israeli Gay Cinema during the Second Intifada Raya Morag

Chapter 9: “Our Traumas”: Terrorism, Tradition, and Mind Games in Frozen Days Boaz Hagin

Chapter 10: History of Violence: From the Trauma of Expulsion to the Holocaust in Israeli Cinema Nurith Gertz and Gal Hermoni

Chapter 11: Last Train to the Holocaust Judd Ne’eman and Nerit Grossman

Chapter 12: Passages, Wars, and Encounters with Death: The Desert as a Site of Memory in Israeli Film Yael Zerubavel

Chapter 13: “Walking through walls”: Documentary Film and Other Technologies of Navigation, Aspiration, and Memory Janet Walker

Notes on Contributors

Index

 

Screening and Talk: From Alila to Ana Arabia: A rare evening with filmmaker Amos Gitai, Stanford, Oct. 29, 2014

Aaron-Roland Endowed Lecture 

From Alila to Ana Arabia: A rare evening with filmmaker Amos Gitai

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:30pm

Cubberley Auditorium (485 Lasuen Mall, Stanford) Map

AR-Amos-Gitai

 

Ana Arabia film screening followed by conversation with filmmaker Amos Gitai and Q&A with the audience.

Based in Israel and France, Amos Gitai has produced an extraordinary, wide-ranging, and deeply personal body of work. In around 40 films – documentary and fiction-, and books, Gitai has explored the layers of history in the Middle East and beyond, including his family history, through such themes as homeland and exile, religion, space, urban communities, social control and utopia. His trademark style includes long takes with scarce but significant camera movements. Ana Arabia was filmed in one sequence-shot of 85 minutes.

Co-sponsored by CREEES Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies

 

Event: “Let’s Dance” – A Documentary Film, screening at UCLA, Oct 20, 2014

“Let’s Dance” – A Documentary Film

A panorama of Israeli modern dance and a unique window into Israeli society and history. With vivid performances from many of Israel’s most innovative contemporary choreographers.

Monday, October 20, 2014
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
James Bridges Theater
Los Angeles, CA 90095

This extraordinary documentary tells the story of Israel’s innovative dance history, exploring how the need to move, shift, and be in constant motion has produced generations of great dancers and choreographers. Through insightful interviews with leading choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Rami Be’er, and Yasmeen Godder, spectacular performances, and rich archival material, the film traces Israeli dance back to its roots – from the hora circles of the kibbutz to the influences of Martha Graham and the avant-garde – to reveal how dance has become a vital form of expression in Israel today.

Directed by: Gabriel Bibliowicz, 2012 52 min..  In Hebrew with English subtitles

Post-screening discussion with art historian and professor of Israeli visual culture, Anat Gilboa, and Melissa Melpignano, Ph.D. student in Culture and Performance at the UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance, focusing on contemporary Israeli choreography.

RSVP in link.

We are very pleased to screen this film in conjunction with the Batsheva Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary performances at Royce Hall (Nov 1,2), presented by the UCLA Center for the Art of Performance and co-sponsored by the Y&S Nazarian Center. For further information, visit cap.ucla.edu

​​

Special Instructions

Public parking available in UCLA Parking Structure 3. Enter the campus at Hilgard and Wyton, and make an immediate right turn onto Charles E. Young Dr. East. Signs will direct you to Parking Structure 3, “pay-per-space” parking. For additional directions to campus, visit http://www.ucla.edu/map.

Cost : Event is free and open to the public. RSVP is required.

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014)

Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): Table of Contents

 

Articles

Communists and the 1948 War: PCP, Maki, and the National Liberation League

Ilana Kaufman
pages 115-144

Mapam in the War of Independence: From the war front to the opposition back benches

The Israeli left between culture and politics: Tzavta and Mapam, 1956–1973

Tal Elmaliach
pages 169-183

From Yekke to Zionist: Narrative strategies in life stories of Central European Jewish women immigrants to Mandate Palestine

Dorit Yosef
pages 185-208

“Operation Exodus”: Israeli government involvement in the production of Otto Preminger’s Film Exodus (1960)

Giora Goodman
pages 209-229

Book Reviews

1929: Shnat ha-efes ba-sikhsukh ha-yehudi-aravi [1929: Year zero of the Jewish-Arab conflict]

Motti Golani
pages 231-235

 Menachem Begin: A Life

Representing Israel in Modern Egypt: Ideas, Intellectuals and Foreign Policy from Nasser to Mubarak

Uriya Shavit
pages 238-241

Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine

Shelly Zer-Zion
pages 241-244

Editorial Board

Editorial Board
page ebi

Reviews: Schulman, Israel/Palestine and the Queer International

Schulman, Sarah. Israel/Palestine and the Queer International. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.

 

978-0-8223-5373-7_pr

 

Reviews

 

 

New Article: Harris, Palestinian, Druze, and Jewish Women in Recent Israeli Cinema on the Conflict

Harris, Rachel S. “Parallel Lives: Palestinian, Druze, and Jewish Women in Recent Israeli Cinema on the Conflict: Free Zone, Syrian Bride, and Lemon Tree.” Shofar 32.1 (2013): 79-102.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v032/32.1.harris.html

Abstract

Free Zone (Amos Gitai, 2005); The Lemon Tree (Eran Riklis, 2008) and Syrian Bride (Eran Riklis, 2004), explore the Arab-Israeli conflict through women’s experience of the political and military stalemate. In presenting Palestinian, Druze, and Israeli women, these filmmakers attempt to contrast and compare women’s shared encounters, including their experience of patriarchy. While the characters may come from diametrically opposed sides, their experiences as women occlude their political differences. In these films, women are foregrounded within the plot, and have agency over their actions if not their situations. Rejecting the masculine frame that has governed representations of the conflict, these filmmakers demonstrate a new kind of approach in Israeli film that considers feminist aesthetics in the construction of character and plot, as well as the treatment of women’s physicality, gaze, territoriality, and agency.

New Article: Burstein, Four Documentaries by Israeli Women

Burstein, Janet. “Like Windows in the Wall: Four Documentaries by Israeli Women.” Nashim 25 (2013): 129-46.

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/nashim.25.129

Abstract

Within the frame of feminist theory, this paper analyzes the efforts of two Israeli filmmakers to disclose women’s perceptual struggle: against gendered imperatives that encourage women not to look; against the habit of looking at “others” as objects to be feared or controlled; against the forces of materialism, national insecurity and political/military power that make looking impossible. In The Women Next Door and Detained, Michal Aviad and Anat Even interview Arab and Jewish women, enacting the transgressive intention to occupy what Kaja Silverman has called “a viewing position other than that assigned” by their culture. In Ever Shot Anyone? Aviad interviews male reservists, making visible the gendered imperative not to look—even as she defies it. And in Closure Even constructs a metaphor for the gradual occlusion of vision that constricts awareness of others and changes the promising trajectory of Israeli culture.

New Publication: Matar and Harb, Narrating Conflict in the Middle East

Dina Matar (author), Zahera Harb (author), eds. Narrating Conflict in the Middle East: Discourse, Image and Communications Practices in Lebanon and Palestine. London: Tauris, 2013.

Narrating the conflict - cover

The term conflict has often been used broadly and uncritically to talk
about diverse situations ranging from street protests to war, though the
many factors that give rise to any conflict and its continuation over a
period of time vary greatly. The starting point of this innovative book
is that it is unsatisfactory either to consider conflict within a
singular concept or alternatively to consider each conflict as entirely
distinct and unique; Narrating Conflict in the Middle East explores
another path to addressing long-term conflict. The contributors set out
to examine the ways in which such conflicts in Palestine and Lebanon
have been and are narrated, imagined and remembered in diverse spaces,
including that of the media. They examine discourses and representations
of the conflicts as well as practices of memory and performance in
narratives of suffering and conflict, all of which suggest an embodied
investment in narrating or communicating conflict. In so doing, they
engage with local, global, and regional realities in Lebanon and in
Palestine and they respond dynamically to these realities.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Approaches to Narrating Conflict in Palestine and Lebanon: Practices, Discourses and Memories Dina Matar and Zahera Harb

      Practices

Just a Few Small Changes: The Limits of Televisual Palestinian Representation of Conflicts within the Transnational ‘Censorscape’ Matt Sienkiewicz

Mediating Internal Conflict in Lebanon and its Ethical Boundaries Zahera Harb

Negotiating Representation, Re-making War: Transnationalism, Counter-hegemony and Contemporary Art from Post-Taif Beirut Hanan Toukan

Narratives in Conflict: Emile Habibi’s al-Waqa’i al-Ghariba and Elia Suleiman’s Divine Intervention Refqa Abu-Remaileh

      Discourses

Islam in the Narrative of Fatah and Hamas Atef Alshaer

Al Manar: Cultural Discourse and Representation of Resistance Rounwah Adly Riyadh Bseiso

The Battle over Victimhood: Roles and Implications of Narratives of Suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Kirkland Newman Smulders

The ‘I Love…’ Phenomenon in Lebanon: The Transmutations of Discourse, its Impact on Civil Society, the Media and Democratization Carole Helou

      Memories and Narration

Making Sense of War News among Adolescents in Lebanon: The Politics of Solidarity and Partisanship Helena Nassif

Narrating the Nakba: Palestinian Filmmakers Revisit 1948 Nadia Yaqub

Bearing Witness to Al Nakba in a Time of Denial Teodora Todorova

 

USE discount code for special offer on paperback: BOUNDARIES

New Publication: Harris and Omer-Sherman, eds., Narratives of Dissent

Harris, Rachel S. and Ranen Omer-Sherman. Narratives of Dissent. War in Contemporary Israeli Arts and Culture. Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 2012.

 

dissent

 

 

URL: http://wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/narratives-dissent

The year 1978 marked Israel’s entry into Lebanon, which led to the long-term military occupation of non-sovereign territory and the long, costly war in Lebanon. In the years that followed, many Israelis found themselves alienated from the idea that their country used force only when there was no alternative, and Israeli society eventually underwent a dramatic change in attitude toward militarization and the infallibility of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). In Narratives of Dissent: War in Contemporary Israeli Arts and Culture editors Rachel S. Harris and Ranen Omer-Sherman collect nineteen essays that examine the impact of this cultural shift on Israeli visual art, music, literature, poetry, film, theatre, public broadcasting, and commemoration practices after 1978.

Divided into three thematic sections-Private and Public Spaces of Commemoration and Mourning, Poetry and Prose, and Cinema and Stage-this collection presents an exciting diversity of experiences, cultural interests, and disciplinary perspectives. From the earliest wartime writings of S. Yizhar to the global phenomenon of films such as Beaufort, Waltz with Bashir, and Lebanon, the Israeli artist’s imaginative and critical engagement with war and occupation has been informed by the catalysts of mourning, pain, and loss, often accompanied by a biting sense of irony. This book highlights many of the aesthetic narratives that have wielded the most profound impact on Israeli culture in the present day.

These works address both incremental and radical changes in individual and collective consciousness that have spread through Israeli culture in response to the persistent affliction of war. No other such volume exists in Hebrew or English. Students and teachers of Israeli studies will appreciate Narratives of Dissent.

 

 

Table of Contents (from Library of Congress)

Introduction: zionism and the culture of dissent / Ranen Omer-Sherman — Private and public spaces of commemoration and mourning — "Music of peace" at a time of war : Middle Eastern music amid the second intifada / Galeet Dardashti — Privatizing commemoration : the helicopter disaster monument and the absent state / Michael Feige — "Cyclic interruptions" : popular music on Israeli radio in times of emergency / Danny Kaplan — Consuming nostalgia : greetings cards and soldier-citizens / Noa Roei — The photographic memory of Asad Azi / Tal Ben Zvi — "We shall remember them all" : the culture of online mourning and commemoration of fallen soldiers in Israel / Liav Sade-Beck — Poetry and prose — Bereavement and breakdown : war and failed motherhood in Raya Harnik’s work / Esther Raizen — From IDF to .pdf : war poetry in the Israeli digital age / Adriana X. Jacobs — "Unveiling injustice" : Dahlia Ravikovitch’s poetry of witness / Ilana Szobel — War at home : literary engagements with the Israeli political crisis in two novels by Gabriela Avigur-Rotem / Shiri Goren — Forcing the end : apocalyptic Israeli fiction, 1971-2009 / Adam Rovner — Oh, my land, my birthplace : Lebanon war and intifada in Israeli fiction and poetry / Glenda Abramson — Vexing resistance, complicating occupation : a contrapuntal reading of Sahar Khalifeh’s wild thorns and David Grossman’s The smile of the lamb / Philip Metres — Gender, war, and zionist mythogynies : feminist trends in Israeli scholarship / Esther Fuchs — Cinema and stage — Representations of war in Israeli drama and theater / Dan Urian — From national heroes to postnational witnesses : a reconstruction of Israeli soldiers’ cinematic narratives as witnesses of history / Yael Munk — A woman’s war : The Gulf War and popular women’s culture in Israel / Rachel S. Harris — Beaufort the book, beaufort the film : Israeli militarism under attack / Yaron Peleg — Shifting manhood: masculinity and the Lebanon war in Beaufort and waltz with Bashir / Philip Hollander — List of contributors — Index.

Cite: Shenar, Bollywood in Israel: The Aesthetics of Diaspora Transnational Audiences

Shenar, Gabriele. "Bollywood in Israel: Multi-Sensual Milieus, Cultural Appropriation and the Aesthetics of Diaspora Transnational Audiences." Ethnos – Online first, 29 pp.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00141844.2011.651483

Abstract

Research on Bollywood cinema’s increasingly global presence identifies the genre as a significant cultural domain for the articulation of diasporic Indian identity and its constitution. Focusing on the appropriation of Bollywood cinema and its filmi song and dance, regarded as a multi-sensual media, the article investigates Bollywood’s popularity among Bene Israel immigrants in Israel and explores the aesthetics of diaspora, understood as a politics of consumption, embodied performance of identity and claims to ownership of tradition shaped by commercialized popular culture imported into Israeli society. I suggest that a sentient anthropology may provide insights into cultural identity as emerging out of material, social and aesthetic practices. The participatory culture and multi-sensual milieus inspired by Bollywood’s sensorium are constitutive, the paper argues, of diasporic identity and community through their potential to evoke shared emotions and a sense of place and subjectivity, mediated by the qualities of objects, performance styles and etiquette.

Cite: Burstein, Performing Holocaust Memory: Judd Ne’eman’s Zitra

Burstein, Janet Handler. "Performing Holocaust Memory: Judd Ne’eman’s Zitra." AJS Review 36.2 (2012): 323-36.

 

URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8749266

Abstract

Memory and its representations can reveal as much about a culture’s sense of itself as they do about its past. Israeli critics have traced the ways in which representations of the Holocaust in their country’s films reflect, among many other issues, Israeli culture’s preoccupation with the construction of Israeli identity. According to one critic, the Holocaust survivor in films of the 1940s and 1950s embodied weakness and passivity: “all the traits that Israeli identity [was] meant to contrast.” In the 1970s, another critic suggests, films “read” the Holocaust from a “nationalist perspective…highlighting heroic resistance….” Thus, within a few decades, Israeli cinema seems to have represented in radically different ways—through the lens of the Holocaust—the intricacies of Israeli identity formation: first, by shaping memory in terms of the putative weaknesses of diaspora Jews, contrasting them with the strengths of the “new” Israeli Jew; and later, by emphasizing characteristics that linked heroic resisters with heroic Israelis.

Cite: Flanders, Road Movie: Notes from the Field

Flanders, Elle. “Road Movie: Notes from the Field.” Camera Obscura 27.2 (2012): 165-75.

URL: http://cameraobscura.dukejournals.org/content/27/2_80/165.abstract

Abstract

This piece follows the author’s journey of making a film about the segregated roads in Palestine, and the ways in which queer subjectivity and radical politics inform the work we produce regardless of subject matter. Offering a counter-narrative to the Israeli government’s dissimulation as a democratic and progressive nation in its advancement of queer-rights (commonly referred to as pinkwashing), “Notes from the Field” exposes the realities of occupation and its impact on the lives of Palestinians, including queers and their profound interventions. Through a critique of the impact of neoliberalism on current queer politics, the piece winds its way toward a suturing of queer identity and questions of nation.

Cite: Morag, Perpetrator Trauma and Current Israeli Documentary Cinema

Morag, Raya. "Perpetrator Trauma and Current Israeli Documentary Cinema." Camera Obscura 27.2 (2012): 93-133.

URL: http://cameraobscura.dukejournals.org/content/27/2_80/93.abstract

Abstract

This essay proposes a new paradigm for cinema trauma studies: the trauma of the perpetrator. Recognizing a current shift in interest from trauma suffered by victims to that suffered by perpetrators, it seeks to break the repression of the abhorrent figure of the perpetrator in cinema and psychoanalysis literature. This new paradigm is driven by the emergence of a new wave of Israeli documentaries such as Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir, Tamar Yarom’s To See If I’m Smiling, and Avi Mograbi’s Z32, one that for the first time includes female IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) veterans. Israeli cinema, attached on one side to the legacy of the Holocaust and on the other to the Israeli occupation, proves a highly relevant case for probing the limits of both types of traumas. Taking as a point of departure the distinction between testimony given by the victim and confession made by the perpetrator, the paper addresses the questions of whether the trauma of the perpetrator indeed exists; how we might understand the somatic and epistemological conditions of guilt; how we should define the perpetrator’s trauma in contrast to the victim’s; and whether this cinematic trend indeed paves the way for Israelis to assume responsibility for their deeds. Analyzing the characteristics of perpetrator trauma defined as crises (of evidence, disclosure, gender, audience, narrativization) finally leads to a preliminary reflection on the possible relevance of this model for analyzing related new-war films in twenty-first-century world cinema.